Are you running the latest version of PHP? We are and we aren’t

Around this time last year, we’d say that PHP 7 was still in the early adoption phase.

From WordCamp US to EU, topics centered around this, security, testing or hosting were a common thread and for good reason. Everyone depends on them.

PHP is at the heart of how WordPress works and improving its speed and security means a lot and for a lot of users. About 30% of all CMSs in-fact.

While the rollout of PHP 7 may have been slow at first, it’s more common now than ever. For one, it pushes Theme and Plugin developers to stay on top of breaking changes and update old deprecated functions.

For Plugin developers, keeping your code updated to work with the latest version of PHP will deliver more performance, gain your customer’s trust and may even make your codebase simpler. For Theme developers, this new standard will allow for faster rendering and greater security for your customers.

In the spirit of always keeping things moving forward, we cannot find one good reason to not upgrade to PHP 7 which is why our WordPress containers on Shifter always run the latest version automatically.

Shifter Version 2

With our Shifter Version 2 update, we refactored our containers to always run the latest version PHP 7 and the results were a 30x to 50x improvement in speed.

As stable releases of PHP come out we deliver seamlessly to your WordPress site. By powering down your container and powering it back up you’ll be running the latest version. Simple as that.

This decision to automatically push the latest version of PHP to our customers was a tricky one. Would this be a good fit or would it cause more headaches than it was worth?

Turns out, this decision made a lot of sense for us.

The few customers that experience issues using themes not compatible with PHP 7 can resolve those by updating to the latest version of that Theme or Plugin. Ideally, this is the best outcome overall.

In cases where customers don’t have theme updates available with no other resolution, we’ve helped them reach out to the theme developer directly. So far, every time the theme developer has addressed the issue and released a new version.

But isn’t Shifter static?

After the static version of your WordPress site is created PHP is no longer a factor but during that process speed is still a factor. If we can allow the container to run a fast WordPress install, we can also create a static version much faster.

Progress shouldn’t be stifled or limited by one piece of outdated software. There is always a solution within reach!